sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

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sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby ralphjh » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:49 am

Does anyone know what happened to the sudoku.org.uk site? The Jigsaw Sudoku Puzzles have taken on a strange character lately. For example, all of the “Tough” puzzles during the month of July have solutions that contain the same number occurring down the second longest diagonal, from top left to bottom right. The basic arrangement of the distorted blocks are also identical for all of those July puzzles. It gives one the feeling that he or she has done a given puzzle over and over. Similar problems with the Gentle and Moderate puzzles. It loses its fun and challenge.

An email inquiry via the site Contact link was unanswered and the link to the Forums results in an Error page.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:46 am

I've been wondering this myself. It now appears that there are *two* jigsaw patterns in use--one of which (the more frequent) is a new one for the site. The other was in the regular rotation before, and is the one they seem to be using for the weekly Extremes. They're swapping it in a couple of times during the week; but the new one, with the skewed diagonal pattern, is being used the most.

The puzzles are still fairly appropriately graded in terms of the degree of challenge they represent; so I'm finding them worth doing. However, the repetition of so *few* patterns has certainly shown me how much of the pleasure in doing jigsaw sudokus comes from the variety, with the concomitantly shifting challenges each one has. As you say...there's a definite feel that one is doing the same puzzle over and over. (Then again, regular sudokus *always* have the same pattern, don't they?)

The whole thing is very frustrating. It was such a good site, too. Jigsaw sudokus are not the commonest variant, but they are my favourite.

Like you, I have tried to contact them without getting any response. I have no idea what is going on.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:21 pm

Since I keep copies of the jigsaw sudokus (very useful for printing out if one is going on a trip), I can tell you exactly when the change occurred: July 1st. That was the first day the new pattern appeared; and since then there have only been just the two variants. The June jigsaws had the earlier wide range of patterns.

You also mention the forums.

Until earlier this year, the site (which I still think of as the Michael Mepham site) was mirrored at splashpuzzles.com. This had the same puzzles, but was formatted with the original site design. I preferred it: easier to read, I thought. Also, it showed the comments on the extremes so you could see how long other people took to do them. The forums there were of long standing, but occasionally crashed, with loss of older posts; and, for the last few months that splashpuzzles.com was up, the forums were blocked by my antivirus software.

It was at that point that I discovered that the "new" site (i.e. the new site design, but at the old sudoku.org.uk URL) had got new forums, completely unconnected with the original forums. I promptly signed up, and found a number of familiar names among the members. However, it was clear that the new forums were far less active than the old ones had been--possibly because others had also not yet realized they were there.

Then, as you say, the forums suddenly became inaccessible. (This happened several months ago, well before the change in the jigaw sudokus.) Ever since then, when one tries to access the forums, one simply gets that error message you mention.

At first, I thought this simply meant that I wasn't logged in. However, as far as I can read the source code, the page is actually set to deliver *only* the error message. Which is weird. If there really is an error, then you'd think by now someone would have done something about it. Contrariwise, if they've simply decided to discontinue the forums, you'd think they'd put a note on the site to tell people so.

In fact, I get the impression that no one's actually caring for the site any more. Whatever the reason for the change in the jigsaw sudokus, the fact that the forums have mysteriously vanished and no one is answering messages--well, to me, it doesn't bode well. Still, there *are* advance puzzles loaded through the end of 2013.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby enxio27 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:07 pm

Is it possible to get more than the last ten days' worth of daily puzzles from the site? (NOT referring to the monthly puzzle packs.) Greer, how far back do you keep your puzzles?
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:35 pm

First off, you should be able to get the past *thirty* days' worth. However, I don't think that's the real question.

I've been keeping copies of the jigsaw sudokus almost since I started there, which takes us back to about...2007? 2008? Something like that. Back then, if you went on holiday, you either had to bow out of the lists or go crazy trying to find a place to access the site, for it was not possible to do puzzles in advance.

When they first began advance puzzles, it was briefly possible to access their entire back collection. Unfortunately, some people discovered that they could do them, upload them, and jigger their scores. So, not unreasonably, the people running the site went back to locking all but the previous thirty-day's-worth. Fortunately, with all the hoo-ha on the forums, I guessed in time that they'd do this; so I hurriedly saved *all* the daily jigsaws. One by one--it took ages. It meant, though, that I have a complete set. (For a while, there, I had a lot of fun, as you can imagine.)

At that time, I didn't bother saving the extremes since I'd never been able to solve one without bifurcating. However, over time one *does* improve; and nowadays I guess I can solve them about 20% of the time. That, of course, meant that I wished I'd collected all of those as well.

A few months ago, I did discover a way to get in the back door using the Wayback Machine, and collected all the weeky Extreme Jigsaws as well. If you want to try it:

1. Go to the advance puzzles, get the *print* version for one of the future Extreme Jigsaw sudokus.
2. Go to the Wayback Machine (http://archive.org/index.php). Cut'n'paste the URL of the advance sudoku in the box, and hit "Take Me Back".
3. This will get you to a page that has the future puzzle. At the top, it will say the Internet Archive doesn't have a copy, and is getting it off the live web.
4. Note that, just above this message, there is a small box with the URL of the page. (I am NOT referring to your browser's own box.)
5. At this point, you have to be canny. To get a past puzzle, you have to alter the date; but, as you are dealing with weeklies, not all dates will work. I *can* tell you that 2008-04-12 will work. From there, you can work backwards and forwards by 7s. (The puzzle for 2008-04-12 was #81, by the way.)
6. When altering the date, *only* change the very end of the URL in the box, the bit that codes the date.

Sadly, this doesn't seem to work for the Dailies. You just get the usual error message. (Sorry.)
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby enxio27 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:23 pm

Greer Watson wrote:First off, you should be able to get the past *thirty* days' worth.

Ok, I think you're referring to the competition puzzles. I was thinking of the online puzzles (which are a different set, and available for only the past 10 days).

I have all of the daily competition jigsaws from 6 November 2005 to 16 June 2009, and from 16 June 2012 to 10 November 2012 (no idea why the exactly-three-year gap). I also have all of the weekly extremes from #1 to #320 (July 2012, I think). I've been kinda hoping to fill in the gaps from June 2009 to June 2012, and since November 2012 (July 2012 for the extremes). Perhaps we can complete each other's sets?

UPDATE: Here's the link for all of the weekly extremes:

http://www.sudoku.org.uk/PrintWeeklyJigsaw.asp?number=xxx

where xxx is the week number; current week as of this writing is 360.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:54 am

Hah! Well, if they have the Weeklies available on site, that explains how I was able to access them. (And makes it possible for you to at least get *those*.)

Now, as for the Dailies. Yes, I have all their Daily Jigsaw sudokus, including the ones that you're missing. I *don't* have the regular or killer sudokus. I didn't bother to save them since one can get similar ones fairly easily from other sources.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby enxio27 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:47 am

Greer Watson wrote:Hah! Well, if they have the Weeklies available on site, that explains how I was able to access them. (And makes it possible for you to at least get *those*.)

:)

Now, as for the Dailies. Yes, I have all their Daily Jigsaw sudokus, including the ones that you're missing.

Awesome! How can I get those missing ones from you? Do I have any that you are missing? As I said, I have the dailies all the way back to 2005 (other than those three missing years and the ones since November 2012).

I *don't* have the regular or killer sudokus. I didn't bother to save them since one can get similar ones fairly easily from other sources.

No worries! I, too, have plenty of vanilla puzzles (including quite a number from that site), and I'm not much into killers (although I did recently try a couple of easy ones, which were more enjoyable than I expected).
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:59 am

How can I get those missing ones from you?


Well, obviously I'll need an e-mail address. That's if you dare post it here. Maybe you can write it out? (Substitute, "at", "dot", you know the drill.)
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby enxio27 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:54 pm

Greer Watson wrote:Well, obviously I'll need an e-mail address. That's if you dare post it here. Maybe you can write it out? (Substitute, "at", "dot", you know the drill.)

I tried to send you a PM here, but apparently you don't have them enabled (or else there's a glitch with the forum software, which says you don't exist :P ). No biggie--it's enxio27 [at] live [dot] com.

Are there any puzzles you'd like for me to send to you?
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:17 pm

I've just sent you the puzzles for June to December 2009. I'll get the others sorted out as soon as possible.

Are there any puzzles you'd like for me to send to you?


Actually, in looking these out for you, I discovered that I am actually missing some. Since I was sure I'd saved them, I checked my back-up files. It looks as though they must have got lost when I had a computer crash in 2009. There are odd gaps where a chunk of data must have dropped down a glitch. I may have them on an old back-up CD, but it would take some finding.

I'll have a look through and send you a list.

This does *not* affect any of the files you want, which are all post-crash.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby enxio27 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:53 am

Greer Watson wrote:I've just sent you the puzzles for June to December 2009.

Got 'em, thanks!

I'll get the others sorted out as soon as possible.

Looking forward to it!

I'll have a look through and send you a list.

Ok, whenever you're ready!
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby Greer Watson » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:00 am

I've just sent you the puzzles for the first half of 2012. You should now also have the 2010 and 2011 puzzles. Let me know which months you're still missing.

In my e-mail, I included a list of the months that I don't have myself. The big chunks are January through April 2007 (which must just precede the time I started doing the puzzles) and January through March 2009 (which I figure are the ones that got lost in the crash).

I've also included a list of specific days for which I'm missing the puzzles. However, I don't have the puzzle numbers ready to hand, just the date.
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Re: sudoku.org.uk Jigsaw Puzzles

Postby enxio27 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:58 pm

Greer Watson wrote:I've just sent you the puzzles for the first half of 2012. You should now also have the 2010 and 2011 puzzles. Let me know which months you're still missing.

Thanks very much! I replied to your email, but I'm still missing 11 November 2012 to 10 July 2013.
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